Believe it or not, I had my first macaron a few months ago. The moment it touched my lips, i experienced sheer bliss. Everything about the raspberry macaron was dreamy. And I didnt even give myself the chance to finish it before I was looking up recipes on how to make the delicious treat.
Thats when I hit up The Dude.
“I wanna make macarons”
And Dude never passes at a chance to dirty my kitchen.
After some planning and grocery shopping macaron day was in full effect.
Vanilla Macarons with a thyme infused chocolate cherry ganache
Macaron Ingredients (Courtesy of “I love Macarons” Cook book)
2/3 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 large egg whites (at room temp)
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
The one thing I couldn’t find while grocery shopping was almond flour. I purchased some raw almonds and threw them in the food processor. The dude and I were totally psyched about making the macarons and as I turned the dial on my shitty food processor nothing happened. I nervously laughed while thinking “we’re fucked” and hit the reset button on the outlet, turned the dial… still nothing. Luckily, i had a magic bullet blender that pulverized the almonds to a lovely powder.
And then the Dude sifted the ground almonds with the powdered sugar. I attempted to help, but i was a bit impatient with the process. He took over and patiently sifted the sugar and almond flour together.
Patience? what the hell is that?
We placed the egg whites in the mixer and beat the eggs on level 2. When it was frothy slowly the dude added granulated sugar.
When the egg whites were nice and glossy and formed stiff peaks, dude gently folded in vanilla extract. Using a rubber spatula, folded in half of the almond flour and powdered sugar, and was sure to scoop it upwards from the bottom of the bowl. When it was fully combined, he added the last half and folded it till its fully incorporated.
The book then says to spread the batter along the sides of the bowl, scrape it down, fold it and repeat 15 times. I didnt count how many times the Dude did this… and I dont think he counted either. But its “done” when its slightly firm and drips slowly from the spatula. This is the tricky part. Any overages or deficits in folding and turning, and you can change the texture of your macaron. It can get spotty, crumbly, runny, dry etc etc.
At this point i was getting kind of nervous… this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. So many rules! And no sure way to know if what we were doing was right! (kinda like life…)
and then we piped 1 inch circles on some really bad ass baking mats (which i am currently holding hostage)
So PRETTY!!!! we Allowed the batter to sit out at room temperature for 15 –20 minutes to allow the merengue to dry and set a little bit. This task proved most difficult for me as I paced my tiny kitchen while dude watched saying “wtf?!?!”… then he discovered he fit in the tiny nook where my closet is. I took a picture of that… but Im going to save it in case i need to blackmail him some day.
When the macarons dried slighlty we Baked them for 15 mins at 375.
While the macarons were setting, the dude and I went through some chocolate bars that i have been waiting to review. We wanted to make a really great ganache to go in the macarons… and tore open every single one of the bars that New Tree sent to me (full review coming soon). I really liked the idea of a fruitty ganache so we decided on these two bars:
Cherry and superfruit.
I chopped up some chocolate while the dude worked up some thyme infused heavy cream….The ganache was only supposed to be chocolate cherry but while cramming his body into the tiny nook near my closet, dude was eyeing my spice carousel and really really insisted on adding some herbage to the ganache.
I fought him on it. I said no to everything he suggested.
And then i confessed my fear of herbs. Im hesistant to play on the sweet and savory side… and eventually I relented and gave dude my blessing on Thyme in our ganache. Its only fair, I mean he DID trek to Queens… and if it came out horrible (which- it didnt) I could totally blame him. Right?
Chocolate cherry ganache Ingredients:
3.5 ounces of heavy whipping cream
3.5 ounces of chocolate ( we used the entire cherry bar and half of the superfruit bar)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Bring heavy cream and thyme to boil…I really reccomend using a whisk. My roomate, cheese eater came into the kitchen to show me his iPad and I was not giving the heavy cream my undivided attention. Its heavy cream. it needs all your attention!
When the macarons were done we allowe them to cool… then pipe some ganache in the center of the macaron and sandwich with another macaron.
I have to say, these were the cutest freakin things I have ever made… ahem, that we made. Sorry dude. (he did most of the work… my job was to take the photos and freak out)
that night, they werent as awesome as I had hoped. But the following day, they were really good! But “just okay” is not acceptable for me nor the Dude…so we are going to revisit this recipe… i mean, we have to because i have his baking mats and cookbook being held hostage until macaron day part 2.